For a map of the projects reviewed in the Chaddick Report, scan this QR code.
Rail Abandonment and Rails to Trails
The repurposing of out-of-service rail lines for public parks and shared-use trails is an important Rails-to-Trails movement that has created thousands of popular recreational trails throughout the country. VRPI appreciates the environmental, recreational, and economic benefits of such uses and understands that not every former rail line warrants preservation and restoration.
However, once the tracks are removed and the right-of-way converted to a park or trail easement, any potential for restoration of the former rail lie vanishes forever. Some states have established policies of "rail banking" potential abandonments to preserve passenger and/or freight rail opportunities for the future. Virginia, however, has no established and codified policy for the public preservation of lines in danger of being abandoned, taken out of service, or repurposed for non-rail uses.